Master of Studies in History of Art and Visual Culture

The regulations of the Board of the Faculty of History are as follows:

  • 1. Every candidate must follow for at least three terms a course of instruction in the History of Art, and must, upon entering for the examination, produce from his or her society a certificate to this effect.

  • 2. Syllabus

    The course shall comprise: I, one compulsory paper; II, one optional paper chosen by the candidate; and III, a dissertation.

  • I. The compulsory paper entitled 'Theory and Methods in the History of Art’ will be assessed by three essays of between 1,200 and 1,500 words each. A choice of topics for these essays as prescribed by the examiners will be published on the WebLearn pages for this degree programme by noon on Monday of ninth week of Trinity Term. Two copies of each essay submitted must be delivered to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG, by noon on Thursday of ninth week of Trinity Term in the year in which the examination is to be taken.

  • II. Optional papers will cover topics and issues of art history and visual culture from the later Middle Ages to the present, as approved from time to time by the Committee of the History of Art. A definitive list of the optional papers available in any one year will be posted on the notice boards of the Faculty of History by Friday of fourth week of Michaelmas Term at the latest. Optional papers will be examined by two extended essays of between 4,000 and 5,000 words.

  • III. A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words on a topic in the history of art, to be approved by the candidate's supervisor and the Head of the Department of History of Art prior to the submission of essay and dissertation titles to the Chair of Examiners for the degree.

  • 3. Candidates shall make written application for the approval of the titles of their extended essays in their optional paper, and also notify the examiners of the title of their dissertation by the examination entry date.

  • 4. Two typewritten or printed copies of each extended essay for the optional paper must be sent to the Chair of the Examiners for the M.St in History of Art and Visual Culture, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG by noon on Monday of Week One of Trinity Term. Two typewritten or printed copies of the dissertation must be sent to the Chair of Examiners at the same address by noon on Monday of Week Six of Trinity Term. The dissertation must include a short abstract which concisely summarizes its scope and principal arguments, in about 300 words. Both the essays and the dissertations must be (individually) securely and firmly bound in either hard or soft covers; and the presentation and footnotes should comply with the requirements specified in the Regulations of the Education Committee for the degrees of M.Litt. and D.Phil. and follow the Conventions for the presentation of dissertations and theses of the Board of the Faculty of History.

  • 5. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 6. A candidate who fails the examination will be permitted to re-take the examination on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt. Such a candidate whose dissertation has been of satisfactory standard will not be required to re-submit the dissertation, while a candidate who has reached a satisfactory standard on both the option and the prescribed theory and methods essays will not be required to re-take those parts of the examination.